“Sugartime” by Erik Arneson
I was running a dust cloth across the top of the glass display case housing my most prized first editions—Hammett’s The Dain Curse and Christie’s Perilat End House among them—when the bell above the door jingled and a middle-aged man stepped into my used bookshop in Philadelphia’s Spring Garden neighborhood. His cashmere trench coat made me hopeful for a big sale, but the ratty Yankees cap and knockoff sunglasses he didn’t remove gave me pause . . .